Philippine festivals or, simply, fiestas are a huge chunk, not just of a town, city or province’s culture but of the Filipinos’ lives as a whole. Well-known for our hospitality, this becomes more highlighted during our celebrations of festivals.
The Philippines is known also for being a multi-ethnic race. Coming from Malays, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Americans, and so much more has produced something that we now call Filipinos. And in celebration of this rich cultural diversity, Filipinos have put great emphasis in culture and religion as shown in the varied, yet strongly connected traditions. One such thing is through the celebration of fiestas.
The celebration of festivals or fiestas is an ancient tradition handed down from religious practices brought by the Spaniards. Mostly, they are commemorations of patron saints or that many major events in the life of Jesus Christ and His mother, Mary.
From Christmas (Filipino style, of course), church fiestas celebration of Holy Week, summer’s Santacruzan religious fluvial parades and many others all have religious origins. Even our Muslim brothers have their own religious celebrations such as the Ramadan of the Hari-raya Pausa Feast. And Filipinos, being the religious people that we are, are firmly bounded to our faith, no matter what it is. This, combined with our love of merrymaking may have been the force behind the revelries.
While others are rooted in the religious, there are also those that are simply part of the everyday life, as in the case of rituals of the Ifugaos, Bontocs and Kalingas of the Mountain Province. These have long existed, even before the Spaniards came.
Festivals have become tourist attractions on their own. When a traveler is not sure when the best time to visit a specific location, checking it’s schedule for upcoming festivals would be a great start to planning the trip. Of course, one should be a wise traveler (and you can bank on Infohub to help you!). In all festivals, travel arrangements such as accommodations, transportation, meals and others are best made in advance since, believe it, you’re just among the hundreds and thousands of visitors who will be going.
From the first month of the year up to December, there are lots of festivals you can go and be part of. And don’t settle just being a by-stander! Be involved, be where the action is! Again, it is Filipino hospitality at its best. So why not make the best out of it and, well, enjoy yourself.
Watch out as InfoHub brings you reviews, background and great tips on how to have more fun during Philippine festivals.